Germany and Bayern Munich midfielder Joshua Kimmich has defended his decision to not get vaccinated.
It recently emerged that dozens of footballers across Europe in the top five leagues have so far declined to get their coronavirus vaccination.
According to German publication BILD, there are five Bayern players, including Kimmich, whom have not yet been vaccinated.
Addressing to Sky Sport Germany about his vaccination status after Bayern's 4-0 triumph over Hoffenheim on Saturday, the 26-year-old said:
I have concerns about the lack of long-term studies.
I am of course aware of my responsibility. I follow all hygiene measures and get tested every two to three days.
Everyone should make the decision for themselves.
I find it a shame that there is only vaccinated and nonvaccinated in this debate. Nonvaccinated then seems to equal corona denier or anti-vaxxer.
But there are other people who just have concerns, whatever their reasons, and I think we should respect that as long as they also stick to the measures.
In March 2020, Kimmich co-founded a philanthropic initiative called #WeKickCorona to help raise money for efforts in Germany amid the virus outbreak.
The Germany international was joined by Bayern teammate Leon Goretzka, with each player donating €500,000 to help get the campaign reach its fundraising target.
Asked why he "doesn't practice what he preaches" with regards to his vaccination status, Kimmich gave a clear, concise response.
That doesn't mean I don't practice what I preach. We've donated money to Unicef so that they can make vaccines available in countries with no access to vaccines.
If people decide they want to get vaccinated, we should do all we can to ensure that they can.
I'm not saying categorically that I won't get vaccinated, I just still have some concerns. It is absolutely possible that I will get vaccinated in future.